By Sara Nigro
Ariana Grande released her sixth studio album, “Positions,” on Friday, Oct. 30. Following her lead single by the same name a week earlier, she released a total of 14 tracks. With this album, Grande has finally established her authentic sound and tone — it reflects her and her taste through superior vocals, storylines and emotional messages.
She introduces the new album with the song “shut up,” a track sounding similar to the intros from her previous albums, and the following song called “just like magic.” Grande sings about manifestation, attraction and vibrations in regards to beliefs in the Law of Attraction. They both bring a strong positive energy and are some of the catchiest songs on the album.
Following suit to her more recent albums, Grande doesn’t stray away from sexual topics and instead embraces them through honesty with her listeners. She sings about natural desires in a fun, upbeat way that deludes any seriousness. “34+35” and “nasty” are perfect examples of this transparency and breakthrough of an often taboo subject.
Unlike her previous album, which didn’t include any other artists, she includes three tracks with features from Doja Cat, The Weeknd and Ty Dolla $ign. “off the table (with The Weeknd)” is a raw, vulnerable song that communicates the fears of never finding a love like the one that has been lost. In the first verse, she sings, “If I can’t have you, is love completely off the table? / Do I sit this one out and wait for the next life?”
It has been highly speculated that Grande is singing about her late ex-boyfriend Mac Miller — him being the love that she’s scared she’ll never feel again.
The Weeknd then adds the assumed perspective of her current boyfriend, Dalton Gomez, singing, “I’ll wait for you / Even though it always feels like I’ll be number two,” encapsulating the struggles of an emotional love story.
After major success with her previous album “thank u, next,” Grande incorporates the same authenticity while also elevating her vocal abilities. In “my hair” she sings the last repetition of the chorus completely in whistle notes, her range and ability shining throughout the entirety of the album.
In addition to extreme vocals, each song in the album chronologically explains a full storyline, showing not only a professional healing process, but a personal one. In light of that, Grande makes a few references to some of her past works in “positions.” In “ghostin’” off of her album “thank u, next,” she sings, “I’m a girl with a whole lot of baggage” but later evolves in “pov” when she sings, “All my baggage fadin’ safely.” She also repeats the line, “Is it real this time or is it in my head” throughout the chorus of “safety net,” in reference to her earlier song “in my head.”
“pov.” Point of view. One of Ariana Grande’s best songs to date. I got chills and immediately started to tear up as I heard the chorus. “pov” is a beautiful love song expressed in a way I’ve never heard before. Her chorus follows the lyrics, “I wanna love me / The way that you love me / Ooh, for all of my pretty and all of my ugly too / I’d love to see me from your point of view,” explaining the idea of wanting self-love to look like love in a relationship. Saving the best for last, this is the perfect way to end the album.